Tag Archives: food inspections

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Cloudy early with peeks of sunshine expected late. High around 40. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy early followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low near 30. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The Best of Tango 

Thalia Spanish Theatre presents the most popular tango and milongo classics in music, song and dance. Show starts on Friday, Jan. 31 lasts until March 23 with Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 4 pm. $30 to $35. 41-17 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside, www.thaliatheatre.org.

Convicted criminal who escaped from Queens psychiatric facility caught in Tennessee

A convicted killer who escaped from a Queens Village psychiatric facility by swapping clothes with a friend was captured in Memphis, Tenn. Thursday night. Read more: The Queens Courier

De Blasio to weigh in on ‘independent’ cop monitor

The investigator nominated by Mayor de Blasio to keep the city government in check revealed Thursday that Hizzoner will have a big say in appointing what’s meant to be an “independent” NYPD watchdog. Read more: New York Post 

Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t attend Super Bowl

New York City is co-hosting the Super Bowl this weekend but its mayor will not attend the nation’s biggest sporting event. Read more: AP

Food safety inspections in NY lagging, staffing below recommended levels: audit

New York’s food inspections have been lagging, allowing 5,000 manufacturers, supermarkets, wholesale bakeries and other businesses to operate last year without updated inspections, state auditors reported Thursday. Read more: NBC New York

Federal prosecutors to seek death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced they will seek the death penalty against 20-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing, instantly raising the stakes in what could be one of the most wrenching trials the city has ever seen. Read more: CBS New York/AP

 

Pol: Inspect, grade food markets too


| brennison@queenscourier.com


A local politician wants to make sure supermarkets are making the grade — 24 hours a day.

Senator Tony Avella has proposed that the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene be given jurisdiction over food markets in the five boroughs, an authority only the state’s Department of Agriculture & Markets currently has.

Currently, the state’s agriculture department conducts inspections of food stores, from smaller retailers to supermarkets. Inspectors from the Department of Agriculture & Markets routinely examine sanitary conditions, food preparation procedures and storage conditions at food markets.

“I mean part of the problem is that the city has no jurisdiction over supermarkets. I mean obviously the state doesn’t have the proper number of inspectors,” Avella said. “When there is a complaint, there is the issue of a timely inspection.”

There are approximately 115 food inspectors who have jurisdiction over more than 28,000 markets.

Avella brought up the example of the Hillside Avenue Halal Market that had received numerous complaints. One of the complaints was that meat and poultry was being delivered in an unrefrigerated truck, but since the deliveries came at night, there was no way for the Department of Agriculture to find out — no inspections after 5 p.m.

“[The city] makes night inspections, and they can have quicker response time. Why not have the city have some jurisdictions,” Avella asked.

Under the proposal, the city and state would have concurrent jurisdiction.

Avella also said giving the city jurisdiction would stop restaurants from classifying themselves as food markets to evade the city health inspectors.

Currently, the city’s health department inspects and hands out letter grades to restaurants. Avella said expanding the letter grades to markets may be something that is discussed in meetings with the city.

“I think it’s a real consumer issue. This will make sure [markets] are following the code,” Avella said. “There is the opportunity for more routine inspections to make sure it is safer for everyone. I think it’s a no brainer”